Help with Gestalt character


Advice


I haven't played Pathfinder in many year. Been playing a lot of 5e over the last year. But a friend recently asked if I wanted to join his campaign which he said it was a Gestalt campaign. So I looked it up since I had never heard of it. Seems interesting but since its been so long since I've played Pathfinder, I'm not even sure whereto start with this.

Last toon I played in Pathfinder was a summoner and before that was a Ranger. So I'm not quite sure what to do!


Gestalt is a 3.5 mechanic. So you may want to look it up on the SRD at d20srd.org.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

This is the Pathfinder Society forum, and gestalt characters aren't legal in PFS. I've flagged your post to be moved to the correct forum.


Still not used to this Guild name change :)


Tyraelswrath wrote:
I haven't played Pathfinder in many year. Been playing a lot of 5e over the last year. But a friend recently asked if I wanted to join his campaign which he said it was a Gestalt campaign. So I looked it up since I had never heard of it. Seems interesting but since its been so long since I've played Pathfinder, I'm not even sure whereto start with this.

Gestalt rules are here.

Basically, you pick two classes. Whenever both classes give you an ability, you get the better of the two. For example, let's say you pick Cleric and Ranger.

Clerics have good Will saves, Rangers do not. So a Cleric/Ranger has good Will saves.
Clerics have good Fort saves, Rangers do as well. So a Cleric/Ranger has good Fort saves.
Clerics have d8 hit dice, Rangers have d10. So a Cleric/Ranger has d10 hit dice.
Clerics have bad Reflex saves, but Rangers have good ones. So a Cleric/Ranger has good Reflex saves.
Clerics have 3/4 BAB, Rangers have full BAB. So.... well, you get the idea.

Cleric/Ranger is actually a pretty good chassis. Full BAB, d10 hit dice, all good saves, lots of skill points, and a full 9 levels of spellcasting (plus Ranger spells if and when).

By contrast, Sorceror/Wizard doesn't have very good hit dice and saves, but they also have unbelievable numbers (and variety) of spells. Rogue/<anything> has good Reflex saves and lots of skill points, plus sneak attack damage, which makes a nice boost.

So there are lots of combinations.


Excellent Gestalt explanation from Orfamay

Start where you would with any other character. What do you want to play? What do you want your character to be able to do? What race is your character? Etc. Gestalt gives you a ton of flexibility to play characters that would otherwise be impossible so go crazy.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

You also want to make sure your two classes complement each other. Especially when it comes to action economy.

For example, a fighter//wizard might be a bad combination because you can either fight with weapons OR cast a spell, you can't do both unless the spell can be cast a swift action, for example, by using Quicken Spell.

On the other hand, fighter//wizard might be a good combination if you plan on using lots of weapon-like spells (Weapon specialization ray, Improved Critical ray, etc.) and/or plan on playing like a Reach Cleric (using your standard action to cast a spell, then using a reach weapon to get AoOs when monsters approach). Also, a lot of the Combat Feats are good for fighters AND wizards, like Improved Initiative.


Vivisectionist Mindchemist Alcemist/Wizard gets 3/4 BAB, all 3 saves, and a D8 HD. Mutagens + arcane spells with full SA. Can be very effective.


SmiloDan wrote:

You also want to make sure your two classes complement each other. Especially when it comes to action economy.

For example, a fighter//wizard might be a bad combination because you can either fight with weapons OR cast a spell, you can't do both unless the spell can be cast a swift action, for example, by using Quicken Spell.

On the other hand, fighter//wizard might be a good combination if you plan on using lots of weapon-like spells (Weapon specialization ray, Improved Critical ray, etc.) and/or plan on playing like a Reach Cleric (using your standard action to cast a spell, then using a reach weapon to get AoOs when monsters approach). Also, a lot of the Combat Feats are good for fighters AND wizards, like Improved Initiative.

i would think wizard/fighter would be a good combo as when you are out of spells to cast/dont have the right one for this siputation you can still back some ones face in with a sword very decently plus thats masically what an eldtich knight is a fighter/wizard

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I was using fighter//wizard as an example to find pitfalls in class combos. You'll notice "the other hand" has a lot more fingers of goodness. :-)

For example, I want to play a gestalt paladin//ninja some time, but combining heavy armor and the Stealth class might be troublesome. But dual-wielding smiting sneak attacks would be worth it!


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you dont have to wear fullplate to be a paladin(plus mythril is a thing :D) mithril breast plate could get you pretty far for the ammount of dex you will prolly have

Shadow Lodge

There's a lot of good gestalt options, OP. It really would help if we had some idea of what you wanted to play, and what the rest of the party looks like.

Lady-J wrote:
i would think wizard/fighter would be a good combo as when you are out of spells to cast/dont have the right one for this siputation you can still back some ones face in with a sword very decently plus thats masically what an eldtich knight is a fighter/wizard

There's at least one better combo for if you just want a sword as a backup: wizard//slayer. You get a better ref save, better skills, better utility in general. Studied target and sneak attack, unlike weapon training, work on rays and other weapon-like spells (though sneak attack only applies once if you fire multiple rays). If you take Assassinate or another talent with a DC, it's based on intelligence. Your combat feat choices are a bit more limited, but you can still take weapon finesse, weapon focus, and three ranger combat style feats, plus any one additional feat as an advanced talent.

Alternatively, wizard//kensai magus gives you a little less sword-skill but still enough to work as a backup option, plus extra spells, action economy with spell combat (applies to wizard spells at level 6 with Broad Study Arcana), and Int to AC, Initiative, crit confirmation, and number of AoO.

Finally, alchemist//wizard. Again you get all good saves instead of just Fort/Ref, and an extra two skill points. Bombs and infusions expand your control and buffing options, and many discoveries can toughen you up. You're only proficient with simple weapons, but you could (1) use racial weapon proficiency, eg elf with a rapier (2) use natural weapons via Feral Mutagen/polymorph (3) grab a longspear which might let you score some AoO even if you are mostly casting and lobbing bombs. Since the Str mutagen reduces Int, you'll either want a Dex build, drink your mutagen only when you're done casting, or else focus more on spells that don't have saves.


Lady-J wrote:
i would think wizard/fighter would be a good combo as when you are out of spells to cast/dont have the right one for this siputation you can still back some ones face in with a sword very decently plus thats masically what an eldtich knight is a fighter/wizard

Fighter//Wizard is not actually a very good combination, as you still have to deal with arcane failure chance due to armor, and because wizards don't actually run out of spells very often. Since so many of the Fighter abilities have to do with the armor you won't be wearing....

I'd suggest Slayer//Wizard or Ranger//Wizard. Less armor hassles, more skills, better saves and some nice passive bonuses. Basically, they give you the useful stuff from Fighter and more besides.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
i would think wizard/fighter would be a good combo as when you are out of spells to cast/dont have the right one for this siputation you can still back some ones face in with a sword very decently plus thats masically what an eldtich knight is a fighter/wizard

Fighter//Wizard is not actually a very good combination, as you still have to deal with arcane failure chance due to armor, and because wizards don't actually run out of spells very often. Since so many of the Fighter abilities have to do with the armor you won't be wearing....

I'd suggest Slayer//Wizard or Ranger//Wizard. Less armor hassles, more skills, better saves and some nice passive bonuses. Basically, they give you the useful stuff from Fighter and more besides.

wizard fighter into eldrichknight something else would deal with arcain spell failure chance and in my experience all spell casters run out of spells fast


I don't know but I've always though a sorc/oracle getting everything to run off Charisma would be pretty strunk given the amount of casting you'd have on top of that.

Or a Sorc Paladin, for better saves.

Silver Crusade

Lady-J wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
i would think wizard/fighter would be a good combo as when you are out of spells to cast/dont have the right one for this siputation you can still back some ones face in with a sword very decently plus thats masically what an eldtich knight is a fighter/wizard

Fighter//Wizard is not actually a very good combination, as you still have to deal with arcane failure chance due to armor, and because wizards don't actually run out of spells very often. Since so many of the Fighter abilities have to do with the armor you won't be wearing....

I'd suggest Slayer//Wizard or Ranger//Wizard. Less armor hassles, more skills, better saves and some nice passive bonuses. Basically, they give you the useful stuff from Fighter and more besides.

wizard fighter into eldrichknight something else would deal with arcain spell failure chance and in my experience all spell casters run out of spells fast

Most gestalt rules I've seen say if you take a prestige class you don't get a second class to pair it with for those levels.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
i would think wizard/fighter would be a good combo as when you are out of spells to cast/dont have the right one for this siputation you can still back some ones face in with a sword very decently plus thats masically what an eldtich knight is a fighter/wizard

Fighter//Wizard is not actually a very good combination, as you still have to deal with arcane failure chance due to armor, and because wizards don't actually run out of spells very often. Since so many of the Fighter abilities have to do with the armor you won't be wearing....

I'd suggest Slayer//Wizard or Ranger//Wizard. Less armor hassles, more skills, better saves and some nice passive bonuses. Basically, they give you the useful stuff from Fighter and more besides.

Blood Arcanist (Psychic Bloodline) // Fighter or Psychic Sorcerer // Paladin are great combinations if you want a heavy-armored full caster + full BAB gestalt.


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

I don't know but I've always though a sorc/oracle getting everything to run off Charisma would be pretty strunk given the amount of casting you'd have on top of that.

Or a Sorc Paladin, for better saves.

Soradin is recognized as one of the better gestalts, yes. Soracle less so.

One of my group is really into gestalt games; in fact, he's homebrewed a set of rules that are basically gestalt++, and usually by the time I've made fifth level or so, I've ended up taking a level in six different classes, plus racial levels in ooze, abberation, and outsider. But this gives me a lot of experience, and here are my general rules of thumb for design goals.

The one way in which gestalt characters are not any better than their normal equivalent is in action economy. You still can't cast more than one spell per round, you still can't full attack more than once, and only if you don't move, et cetera. For this reason, I think of a primary and a secondary side. The primary side is the side that I focus on during game play for my actions (e.g, if my primary side is an oracle, I cast spells -- if my primary side is a zen archer, I shoot things). I then pick a secondary side for passive bonuses that do not require actions that will shore up the primary's weakness.

For example, the brawler has a lot of strengths -- high (d10) hit die, full BAB, good Fort saves -- but also a lot of weaknesses, most notably poor Reflex saves, poor Will saves, not many skill points, and no casting ability. So I want to play a brawler, 'cause they're cool, but what do I want for a side dish?

So I would look for a side class to address those. For example, the Investigator gets good Reflex and Will saves, lots of skill points, and 6-level casting when I need it. Most of the time, I'm just going to be punching dudes, but I can use the casting for self-buffs (largely out of combat) and I will always have the improved saving throws. Yay Investigator. If I take wizard instead, I don't get the Reflex saves or the skill points, but I get nine levels of casting. Not quite so yay.

My general benchmark is that I want at least two good saves (ideally three), at least d8 hit dice (ideally d10), at least six levels of casting (ideally 9), and at least 3/4 BAB (ideally full).

Soradin is great. All good saves, d10 hit dice, full BAB, plus the paladin's Charisma-to-saves as a passive bonus to make sure I never miss a save again. So I could at that point play as a sorcerer (ignoring armor proficiency) with perfect saves and twice the hit points.

Sorcerer//Oracle doesn't work for me. I don't generally have issues with running out of spells (I may just use them more conservatively than you do), and I would have two bad saves. I also would have lousy action economy unless I picked the mystery/bloodlines very carefully to give me lots of abilities that didn't take actions to support.


I dont know how well this would work, but in theory it seems pretty good. i had the idea for a getsalt Ninja/Sage counselor Unchained monk. the will save would be meh, but otherwise it has 2 good saves, d10 hit die, full bab, and sage counselor allows you to feint as a swift action while flurrying, and gives improved and greater feint as bonus feats. I can see once you get flying kick style strike, Flying kick in, feint as swift action, full flurry, all with 1d8 + 3d6 damage. Seems pretty good, especially at higher levels.


BeastMasterFTW wrote:
I dont know how well this would work, but in theory it seems pretty good. i had the idea for a getsalt Ninja/Sage counselor Unchained monk. the will save would be meh, but otherwise it has 2 good saves, d10 hit die, full bab, and sage counselor allows you to feint as a swift action while flurrying, and gives improved and greater feint as bonus feats. I can see once you get flying kick style strike, Flying kick in, feint as swift action, full flurry, all with 1d8 + 3d6 damage. Seems pretty good, especially at higher levels.

There's also a fair amount of synergy in attributes; the attributes the Ninja needs are all needed by the Monk already, so you can simply build as a monk. Although I don' think that Sage Counselor is compatible with the UMonk....


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I would say there are two ways to look at gestalt, either go for synergy or go for flexibility.

Synergy is when you can use both classes features (at least some of them) at the same time. For example, a Magus/Fighter build, where the BAB and feats of the fighter increase the already dangerous magus spell strike. Basically, just a magus, but buffed up.

Flexibility would be something like a Wizard/Fighter or Cleric/Rogue. The second class doesn't particularly help the first one 'do it's thing' but it gives you other options that you wouldn't easily be able to do.

Obviously, few builds will be 100% on or the other, but thinking about which way you want to build can clarify your choices.

As others have said, paying attention to getting multiple good saves, good HD and other things is important. I don't necessarily thing that high BAB and full casting are though. That can be good if that is what you want to have, but aren't necessary. If you are wanting to play a character that just attacks every round, having 9 levels of spells, or even 6 doesn't add all that much to you. Similarly, if you are just going to be casting, that full BAB is probably a waste.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
BeastMasterFTW wrote:
I dont know how well this would work, but in theory it seems pretty good. i had the idea for a getsalt Ninja/Sage counselor Unchained monk. the will save would be meh, but otherwise it has 2 good saves, d10 hit die, full bab, and sage counselor allows you to feint as a swift action while flurrying, and gives improved and greater feint as bonus feats. I can see once you get flying kick style strike, Flying kick in, feint as swift action, full flurry, all with 1d8 + 3d6 damage. Seems pretty good, especially at higher levels.
There's also a fair amount of synergy in attributes; the attributes the Ninja needs are all needed by the Monk already, so you can simply build as a monk. Although I don' think that Sage Counselor is compatible with the UMonk....

iIt is, if you look at the archetype there is a clause for unchained monk, since they have slightly different abilities.

Shadow Lodge

Dave Justus wrote:

I would say there are two ways to look at gestalt, either go for synergy or go for flexibility.

Synergy is when you can use both classes features (at least some of them) at the same time. For example, a Magus/Fighter build, where the BAB and feats of the fighter increase the already dangerous magus spell strike. Basically, just a magus, but buffed up.

Flexibility would be something like a Wizard/Fighter or Cleric/Rogue. The second class doesn't particularly help the first one 'do it's thing' but it gives you other options that you wouldn't easily be able to do.

Obviously, few builds will be 100% on or the other, but thinking about which way you want to build can clarify your choices.

I agree that these are the two main things you're looking for (aside from decent defenses).

I'd like to elaborate a bit more on the fact that it's a matter of balancing between those two things instead of just picking one.

The fighter//magus, for example, does get a lot more feats than the magus, which opens up a wider variety of combat tactics. Compared to the fighter you get access to magical tactics like magic missile (against incorporeals at lower levels), area attacks, or dimension door.

The wizard//fighter can synergize somewhat using feats that apply to rays, or polymorph spells in combat (though as mentioned, for a high-flexibility combo I prefer wizard//slayer). Cleric//rogue can give you combat buffs+sneak attack, or sneaky domain powers, or improve your tumbling skills for reaching an ally you want to heal.

And something like fighter//bard or fighter//investigator is a really good middle option, with a strong combat base, lots of feats, limited-use buffing spells and abilities, utility spells and abilities, and lots of skills. Even some debuffing if your mental stat is high enough.

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